I listened to Tina Fey's interview yesterday on Fresh Air, and I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. Then I read the Curtis Sittenfield column in the New York Times and the Motherlode blog post, both talking about how Fey interprets the question, "How do you juggle it all?" as incredibly rude. Comments were as expected, ranging from the "she's rich, how dare she" and "people that outsource raising kids suck" to the more general "men never get asked this."
I'm not sure if I see it as a judgmental question. I guess it depends on who is asking. Is the intent to figure out how I do, in fact, fit 3000 things into one day? Or is the intent to make me feel guilty about not giving each of those 3000 things my full attention? I find that when I ask that question it's because I'm genuinely interested in figuring out how to do this better. It's 'how do you schedule everything' as opposed to 'however do you find the time to work and ignore your kids at the same time.'
It's sort of like that question that Stay At Home Moms get asked all the time: what do you do all day? The tone is usually interpreted (and unfortunately usually intended) to make them seem like life must be wonderful and easy with all that free time. But when I asked a SAHM friend, "How do you usually plan out your day?" it was meant as a plea of "please help me. I don't know what to do with these kids all day." I have never spent that much time alone at home during the day with the girls, but when I do, I find that I can't get ANYTHING done. At work, I am expected to do certain tasks, but I generally have some time to devote my full attention to them. At home, there are tasks to do, but there is no way in hell, for me anyway, to give my full attention to anything when there are screaming monkeys around.
So yeah, I'm not sure where I was going with this. Intent matters? Mean people suck, no matter what you do? And that Tina Fey is always awesome.